a sea otter with asthma and… dave grohl?

I get Google Alerts for news regarding asthma and ADHD every morning. I occasionally share a few links on Twitter, but usually nothing is noteworthy enough to blog about.

But a sea otter with asthma? C’mon, obviously I gotta share that.

Andddd… Dave Grohl.

Which reminds me of this cover. First run of the chorus is others… but the repeat and subsequent repeats? Yup.

(She’s awesome, don’t get me wrong… Just… Otters.)

12 of 12 – september 2015


It used to be that on the 12th of the month, a bunch of bloggers would snap 12 pictures of their day and blog them. I kept up a good pace for awhile, but after the momentum died down, I fell off track. Yesterday, my friend Mike tweeted at me saying he was making a 12 of 12 attempt (here are his pictures!).

These are my pictures from September 12th, 2015.


11:36 am – veranda at the cabin | I’ve been trying to figure out how to make paracord bracelets. I finally printed instructions, but can’t find my clips.


11:48 am – veranda | I give up.


12:03 pm – veranda (still.) | I wrote a blog post about hoodies (mostly), so here’s a hoodie-selfie.


2:34 pm – veranda. | Loving the Hemingway app for blogging. This will eventually be my first blog post for Understood.org! (Surprise!)


5:45 pm – deck | Colouring.



6:53 pm – kitchen/living room | Raspberry tart.


7:12 pm – veranda | My Pebble has been having issues. I think it’s done this update 20 times. I was connecting, yet again, to finally send a report to Pebble Support.


10:38 pm – veranda | Pokemon, yo.


11:08 pm – veranda | Nachos.


11:52 pm – bedroom. |  Not sure how I accumulated two Ventolins on the shelf by my bed. Toothbrush time.


12:21 am – bedroom | Somehow a dolphin from SeaWorld and a hula hoop call my cabin bedroom home?


12:31 am – bedroom | Pretending to sleep before actually sleeping.

seasons of resistance

“I’m on the road of least resistance;
 I’d rather give up than give in to this.”
 –promises, incubus

 Back in August I bought this super comfy hoodie. To make it even better I got to the cashier at the Adidas outlet in Albertville and it was half price.
 Except guess what?
 It was August. Hoodie wearing opportunity was limited.
 It’s still barely mid September.
 Hoodie wearing opportunity is still limited.
 I am ready for Fall: jeans and hoodies season is my favourite. In the last week, twice, I’ve tried the jeans-and-hoodie combo and had to ditch the hoodie, that’s how anxious I am for this season to happen.
 Come late October or November though I’ll freeze to keep up this combo as long as possible, maybe adding a toque and mittens to prolong Fall as long as possible.
 Then in April, I’ll try to ditch the jacket as early as possible, freezing my hands to ditch the mittens early, and retreat back to jeans-and-hoodie season until I get antsy to wear shorts. At which time I’ll be cold in shorts awhile until some point in May hits where it becomes slightly more acceptable. Then I’ll refuse to wear a hoodie or jacket briefly and just be cold on many mornings or evenings throughout May, June, July and August, until we reach the beginning of the cycle again.
 Season shifts require attire shifts. And I am not alone in my resistance to these gear changes: the people on the bus are, at these points in the year, wearing every combination of things imaginable. My friend Steve and I regularly discuss whether or not to wear shorts after one rainy day in August where I wore shorts to the Lego Store and he was unimpressed because he wore jeans and wished he was wearing shorts.
 I need one of those thermostats with the people who show what you should wear, except they need to show me precisely how to layer to get through the day properly. Because I left my house today at 8 degrees Celsius with a light hoodie on, and had ditched it by the time i got to the bus stop 0.5 kilometres away. And then when I got downtown I went and left it in my mom’s office.
 Because remember Donkey’s words in Shrek:

Everybody loves cake! Cakes have layers! […] You know what ELSE everybody likes? Parfaits! Have you ever met a person, you say, “Let’s get some parfait,” they say, “Hell no, I don’t like no parfait”?

 Per Donkey, I need to love layers. So, it is until I find somewhere with year-long jeans-and-hoodies weather!
 Even if that means carrying the hoodie around the rest of the day.


ten years.

Ten years ago tonight I didn’t think I’d be spending much of this day with music in my ears and tears in my eyes at the goodness of God. Because if you asked me ten years and a month ago today, and I was being honest, I probably would have said I wouldn’t be here. A little over ten years ago, at fourteen, I had too many mornings where I didn’t want to wake up.   

i spent my days giving my heart away
to anything new
only to ache from the poison of my
temporary muse
and there were times i’d cry myself to sleep at night
only to wake up wishing that i didn’t.

And now, I can’t imagine not being here. 

September 7th, 2005, at about 10:30 pm and without the faintest understanding of what I was doing, I surrendered my inner screwed-up-ness for something greater.
Which doesn’t mean I’m no longer screwed up inside, just that I know everything is for a reason. Nothing is for nothing. I am still alive because of this. The last few weeks, I’ve had more God-moments than I’ve had in a long time. Moments where I haven’t turned away from His voice, speaking through music, and often bringing me to tears. It’s been beautiful.

thank You for never giving up on me
when i looked to everything else,
and lived so selfishly
and You bled
and You died
to be with me
why would You do something like that 
for someone like me? 

[…] You formed my heart with Your own hands
and now i finally understand
and i give You my life, and i’m healed by Your grace
i was made for Your love that no one can replace
this is it, i won’t miss, everything i am made for
to be Yours—all Yours.

the reason, lacey sturm

I don’t understand it, at all. I know I am here for a reason. I try to embrace that every single day—even if I don’t embrace God every day like I should. But somehow, I keep finding my way back. I’m not perfect—but that’s kind of the point. I have too many questions and I can’t follow blindly—but in my world, that’s kind of the point, too. God can handle my questions, and I know that He is bigger than my questions. Still. My questions have only evolved over the last ten years, and they’ll keep doing that. I’m okay with that. I’m okay if I can’t fit into boxes now—Jesus didn’t fit into boxes, and Jesus still doesn’t fit into boxes.

This September, I’m working on self-care. On healing. And then today happens. It’s Suicide Prevention Week. If you need help, please find it. 
I am not here by accident. And I have not been distant for nothing, either.

so how does this work? how much will it hurt to open my heart again?
and will there be scars, reminding me of the way that You healed me?
i wanna be well—i wanna be well…

i’m splintered, i’m many
there’s light and dark within me
but i’m bringing all these pieces
only You can heal me, Jesus
i’m here now, i’m ready
giving everything that’s in me
only You can mend these pieces
be my Healer, be my Jesus.

‘cause i wanna be whole.

be my healer, jenny simmons

Each moment I stretch my arms up or out while my heart sings to Jesus today, I am getting closer and closer to being whole. And, while for now I’ll try to keep up that vibe for as long as I can, I know I’ll wander again—but those who wander are not lost, and I know I’ll learn more about God’s love, and myself, in my wandering, too. Even in the wandering, I know I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be. Because I am still here.

Ten years ago tonight I was writing about taking the leap into faith, into trusting God to heal so that I didn’t end this journey mid-sentence. He did that. So I celebrate: by smiling and laughing, being free of anxiety—being the opposite of who I was on that night.

And, I like this version of me a lot better.

music, “jesus music” and not checking out

On Tuesday I wrote this bullet point:

I focused harder on the words in the music I was listening to […]

I have since not really relented on that point. Which I really, really enjoy.

It’s hard to do consistently: on a bus, in a store, walking and trying to be semi-alert so as to not be hit by cars while crossing streets. But, more often than not, I am trying to make this a more intentional thing. Let the music that’s in my ears so much of each day actually be a thing to check in to, not check out through.

Related, because of my friend Drew tweeting about Jon Foreman’s Shadows, I bought three CDs on Amazon tonight.


I’m always excited about music. But It’s been awhile since I felt like this about it. I like that. I like the feeling of wanting to respond to music—be present with it instead of it just being a thing. And, while I got pissed off at the Casting Crowns acoustic album I have (to the point that I Facebooked a friend asking if she wanted it, and then someone else said they’d take it—really), I’m even listening to what I used to refer to as Jesus music again [and even the legit type, like worship music. Like JESUS CULTURE. One Thing Remains—after Jenny and Annie sang it on the livestream the other night]. Proper Jesus music.). The closest I’d gotten to that the last little while was maybe Flyleaf. And not even always Flyleaf. Last weekend on the way to the cabin, though, I was pretty sunk into the backseat when Great Love came on in my earphones. And, no matter how I’m feeling, that’s a song I find really hard to skip, because it always makes me want to open my arms and jump and twirl and just… appreciate God. (Even if maybe He is the only one keeping up with our conversations and I am mostly ignoring Him and yes I am trying to get better at that and also no I am not really interested in church at the time being unless that is ALL MUSIC. Is that a thing?) Even caught of guard, in the backseat as dusk just began to fade in, a honest-to-goodness shiver rose up my back and I was quickly almost in tears—this song does that to me repeatedly. Even putting it here, I had to listen to it once so I could type it, and two more times so I could feel it.

great Love setting the world on fire,
i am in awe of who You are,
and it’s Your love i’m living for

can’t you feel, i’m drawing near,
the place that broke your heart,
cut up and scarred.
the dawn is breaking,
my body’s shaking.
oh, the secret memories you keep
ignoring so that you can sleep.
i’m facing what you won’t tonight
the dawn is breaking,
my body’s shaking.

great Love, setting the world on fire
i am in awe of who You are,
and it’s Your love i’m living for
great Love that woke me up inside
You are the One i’m looking for,
and i am Yours forevermore

there i was, awaiting death for You,
when all i did was love You too
I’m facing what you won’t tonight,
the dawn is breaking,
my body’s shaking. 

This year, September 7th marks 10 years since Jesus wove His way into my calloused-and-messed-up-but-still-beating heart and showed me that His Love was greater. His Love is still greater. And, I think maybe I am closer to appreciating that this year than I have been the last three years. My story is born of shadows—and yet, I remember the powerful moment I read the Switchfoot song title The Shadow Proves the Sunshine and understood it’s meaning.

There are no shadows without light. There is no darkness without the contrast of brightness to make it exist.

suppose I wanted to hide from You and said “Surely the darkness will hide me, the day will change to night and cover me”. Even the darkness is not dark to You. The night is as bright as the day. Darkness and light are the same [to You]. 

Psalm 139:11-12 [ERV]

Similarly, the other night I was listening to Evanescence before I went to bed. (Maybe there’s hope for Casting Crowns, actually, because I used to hate Evanescence until one day where Evanescence happened in church. Which is an interesting switch because given my current level of interest in church it’s interesting how that triggered a switch—but whatever.) And, listening to Tourniquet for the zillionth time it just hit me so damn hard laying in bed.

This is what I’ll leave off with tonight. This was a hard thing for me to swallow:

[…] [our drummer, Rocky] told me that [the song] is coming from a Christian standpoint, but it’s about suicide. It’s from the perspective of someone who has just committed suicide and it’s about the controversy in Christianity that if you commit suicide, will you go to heaven or hell? If all sins are forgiven after accepting Christ, why would there be an exception? [Wikipedia]

[my stance on this, as I’ve said before, is really more aligned with the Buddhist principle of the all paths leading to truth/the middle ground—and that there is no one answer that’s right. Also I don’t actually believe in hell for many reasons]

…and this, the song (this is actually a song I love to dance to, as I interpret it personally as rather analogous to my own testimony—it made me cry for both reasons. Every time I hear “Am I too lost to be saved? Am I too lost?” my brain screams no.)

i tried to kill my pain
but only brought more (so much more)
i lay dying and i’m pouring crimson regret and betrayal
i’m dying, praying, bleeding and screaming
am i too lost to be saved? am i too lost? 

my God, my tourniquet
return to me salvation
my God, my tourniquet
return to me salvation

do You remember me?
lost for so long
will You be on the other side
or will You forget me?
i’m dying, praying, bleeding and screaming
am i too lost to be saved? am i too lost?

i long to die

my wounds cry for the grave
my soul cries for deliverance
will i be denied Christ
my suicide 

tourniquet, evanescence

And that’s how music has been affecting me lately.
How about you?